Google Searches Provide Insight Into Silverlight And The Olympics

Last week I had a blog post talking about Microsoft’s Silverlight player and the Olympics and thanks to Google, many of the phrases people are typing into Google about the Olympics are bringing them to my blog. The interesting thing about this is that Typepad allows me to see what phrases people are searching for pertaining to Silverlight and the Olympics. I’m sure someone who knows Google better than I do knows of a place on Google’s site where you can see the most common searches for this subject, but looking at Typepad’s reporting gives me some interesting results.

While a lot of the search queries are very generic like "watch olympics" and "watch olympics with silverlight" many of them are very specific to problems people are having. I’m getting a lot of traffic from phrases like "silverlight admin", "silverlight buffering", "should I install silverlight", "silverlight olympic issues", "silverlight not working", "silverlight buffering problems", "olympics video player slow" and other assorted phrases. I’m also getting a lot of traffic from search results pertaining to people who want to use Windows Media to watch the Olympics instead of Silverlight.

By itself, these search phrases are not an indication that the Silverlight player or Limelight Networks are having any problems delivering the video. But it does serve as a reminder to us of just how many viewers still have problems with video players today. Some viewers are clearly having their own connectivity issues, don’t have admin rights for new player installs, don’t have the latest version of the player or don’t want to install a new version. And while some anti-Microsoft people are going to want to comment that this would not be the case if Flash was being used, think again. While I will admit that there would be fewer issues due to the fact that the Silverlight player is newer than Flash, using Flash would not solve the problem. The number two post ever on my blog, thanks to Google referrals is to a post entitled "MSNBC Debate Webcast Constantly Buffering, Poor Audio". I still get tons of traffic to this post as so many users still have problems with Flash video on MSNBC. This is primarily due to MSNBC problems, but it still shows that no matter what player(s) are used, especially for live events, viewers are always going to have a wide assortment of problems that reside on their end.

If you are a viewer who came across this post looking for help to watch the Olympics, send me an e-mail with the problem you are having and I’ll try and point you in the right direction.